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This morning I had the privilege of hearing Pastor Rick Elzinga preach on John 19:16-30. Here is a summary of his sermon in one sentence: The death of Jesus, as John describes it, proclaims Jesus as king, shows that what happened was part of God’s plan, that Jesus perfectly obeyed His Father, and that He fulfilled the task given to Him by His Father.

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I had the privilege this morning of hearing Pastor Rick Elzinga preach on John 19:1-16. Here is a summary of his sermon in one sentence: Jesus Christ was, and will be, recognized as King even by those who don’t believe in Him or submit to Him – what should be the response of those who believe and submit?

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And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20).

“Make disciples” is the one and only command in Jesus’ Great Commission to His church (“go,” by the way is not a command – it’s assumed). How we make disciples can be summed up in three letters – E. B. and C. – taken from the Great Commission itself.

The letter E stands for evangelism. Making disciples, as we go, has to begin with proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world. The letter B stands for baptism. When people respond positively to the gospel and believe in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation, they’re to be baptized. So what about the letter C?

The letter C stands for catechism. I know, I know! Many evangelical Christians (especially those in non-denominational Bible churches, charismatic churches, and other non-Confessional Protestants) don’t know much about catechisms. If they do, they sometimes have an almost allergic reaction. But what Jesus says near the end of the Great Commission speaks directly to the purpose of a catechism.

A catechism teaches the basic doctrines of the faith in a question and answer format. That’s a tremendous way to teach a believer “to observe all that” Jesus commanded them.

In 2017, Crossway published The New City Catechism which is designed to accomplish just that – the discipling of believers in Christ. It contains 52 questions and answers that are meant to be memorized, recited, and learned by heart. The questions and answers are simple and understandable in an easy to read format. There are illustrations, Scripture proofs, and even answers that can be shortened in order to be more easily memorized by younger children. Importantly, helpful instructions are also provided.

Here’s the first question and answer: “What is our only hope in life and death?” “That we are not our own but belong, body and soul, both in life and in death, to God and to our Savior Jesus Christ.”

I highly recommend The New City Catechism as a tool in the making of disciples – not just others, but yourself. Get it, read through it, and begin to memorize the questions and answers. You’ll be glad you did and you’ll grow as a result of it.

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I had the privilege this morning of hearing Pastor Rick Elzinga preach on John 18:25-40. Here is a summary of his sermon in one sentence: On his way to the cross, Jesus teaches us the truth is of utmost significance, external religion cannot reach the heart, and that he is in absolute control of the circumstances.

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I had the privilege this morning of hearing Pastor Rick Elzinga preach on John 18:1-24. Here is a summary of his sermon in one sentence: On His way to the cross, Jesus was in complete control of the situation, protects His sheep, and is at peace with His Father’s plan.

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Luke 2:8-14 says,

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

Rejoice, the Saviour has come! Repent and believe in Him.

Rejoice, the Lord has come! Submit to Him.

Rejoice, the Saviour and Lord is coming again! Prepare for Him.

Merry Christmas!

 

 

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I had the privilege this morning of hearing Pastor Rick Elzinga preach on Psalm 8. Here is a summary of his sermon in the space of one sentence: This who are in Jesus Christ are blessed to have Him as our representative in the Father’s plan of restoring all things.

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